Earlier this year, Felice Cavallaro, a highly regarded journalist from the Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera, launched the Road of Writers—a project to rediscover and celebrate Sicily’s great writers. By way of an introduction to Sicilian writers, the American editors were taken on a tour of the province of Agrigento, which included stops in Racalmuto, Porto Empedocle, Santa Margherita di Belice, and Kaos.

In a companion event, the Regional Film Commission of Sicily and the Experimental Center of Cinematography selected four films (listed below) that use narratives taken from important Sicilian writers’ books to capture the connection that literature has with the land and their towns.

Lo Sguardo Del Principe: La Donnafugata Del Gattopardo (The Gaze of the Prince: The Donnafugata of ‘The Leopard’): Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (1896–1957), whose only novel, The Leopard, is a classic of Italian literature, was born in Santa Margherita di Belice, a town that director David Gambino brings to life in this film.

Andrea Camilleri Calogero (Andrea Camilleri Calogero): The port city of Porto Empedocle is the birthplace of popular contemporary mystery writer Andrea Camilleri, known for his Inspector Montalbano series, and it’s also the setting for this film by directors Ruben Monterosso and Federico Savonitto. Camilleri was born there on the day of Saint Calogero, whom his mother had petitioned after the death of her first two children. The film is based on Camilleri’s first novel, The Course of Things.

Paesaggio: Pirandelliano (Landscape: Pirandello): Luigi Pirandello (1867–1936) was a short story writer, poet, novelist, and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1934. The ancient Greek temples and salt mines that surround Kaos, a region on the outskirts of Agrigento, figure heavily in Pirandello’s writing. The film, by Monterosso and Savonitto, is set around Kaos and is based on the author’s 1926 novel, One, No One and One Hundred Thousand.

Racalmuto: Isola nell’isola (Racalmuto: Island Within an Island): Leonardo Sciascia (1921–1989) is best known for his novel The Day of the Owl, and for the The Moro Affair, a nonfiction book about the 1978 kidnapping of Italian prime minister Aldo Moro. The film, by director Dario Guarneri, is set in the remote village of Racalmuto, which Sciascia described as an “island within an island—my land, my Sicily.”

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